Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tsukineko Inks with Ink Potion No. 9 Tutorial

I just bought a relatively new product from Tsukineko Inks called Ink Potion no. 9 to find out how it works with the All Purpose Inks. One purpose of the solution is to help blend ink colors. From my estimation this could be a good alternative to working with aloe vera gel to lighten and blend colors.

I began this painting by lightly tracing the outline of a goldfish from a copyright free image onto white cotton fabric and gave the fabric a light spritz of Ink Potion.
Using the Lemon Yellow ink and the brush tip Fantastix pen tool, I painted in all the light and dark areas of the fish.
Next I used the Tangerine ink in the areas that are to be the darkest and used a very light touch to blend it with the Lemon Yellow in the lighter areas.
Using the yellow ink again, I painted over the image to blend the colors and to deepen the golden hue.
Next I used the color Autumn Leaf to deepen the darkest areas and help create more dimension by pushing up the contrast.

I used the Tangerine ink again to blend with the Autumn Leaf, making a smoother gradation and used a black fabric pen to add black to the eyes. At this point I heat set the fish with an iron set on cotton with a press cloth on top.
For the water I used Tropical Lagoon, sprayed some Ink potion onto a tray and dipped the fantastix pen tool into the ink and then into solution on the tray. I noticed that this had the effect of lightening the ink color the more solution was mixed in and also making the ink cover a larger area of fabric with less stroke marks.
I lightly spritzed the white fabric where I was applying the blue ink to help the color cover the area smoothly.
I was working quickly and not too carefully and it ended up a little streaky, but I don't mind because it does look a little like there is movement in the water.


  1. Judy,
    Thanks so much for sharing this. That fish is gorgeous. I bought a few bottles of the ink a while back and now need to hunt down some of the Ink Potion. Seems like a lot of potential here.

  2. Oh my goodness! You are in my head! This is the picture I have been seeing that I've been wanting to tackle. I love the idea of the orange goldfish with the blue water!

    But I never would have done the picture justice so thank you for sharing how to get that depth. I will have to give it a try.

    This is an absolutely beautiful piece!

  3. Hi Judy, this is Kathleen from your last color theory class. I absolutely LOVE your goldfish, and really appreciate you showing your method. This may be a dumb question, but what is the advantage of the inks over the fabric paints that we used in the class? Thanks!

  4. Hi Kathleen,

    the difference between the two is that textile paints put a surface on the fabric changing the hand of the fabric also textile paints can be opaque with very solid coverage.

    Inks are transparent, like watercolors, they do not change the hand of the fabric, in a sense it would feel more like dyed fabric. You can work with the ink using the brush tip pens, which feels more like coloring with a marker or with a paint brush.

    So choosing to use one over the other might depend on the finished look you want for a particular piece or which technique you feel more comfortable with and enjoy doing.

  5. It's really nice to see the progression of your beautiful work

  6. This is Jo from your soon-to-be-starting Color Theory class. Thanks for sharing. For your copyright free images, do you have one source or multiple and would you mind sharing? Thanks so much.

  7. Jo,

    I like to have students use copyright free images to work from when learning a new technique, because it gives them the opportunity to concentrate on learning the skill with out the stress of trying to be creative. That self induced pressure can make learning a new technique more difficult.

    I have multiple sources for copyright imagery, the obvious first one would be Dover books, then there are several websites that have imagery available, but this is one that I think is particularly good:


  8. Beautiful! I love how the blue is "streaky" because it does give the water movement. This may be a real beginners question -but how do you keep the blue of the water from bleeding into the wonderful goldfish?

  9. Cindy, the important thing is to heat set the inks as you work to prevent bleeding. If the fabric gets too saturated with ink it will bleed, but just drawing on the fabric with the ink will not bleed. Starting about an inch away from the fish I work toward it, as the ink is worked off the pen tool it becomes drier and less likely to bleed.

  10. Judy, that goldfish is fabulous! Thanks for clearing up why one would want to use one product over another for painting. Makes sense now! I have tried textile paints before and they can leave the fabric feeling almost rubbery if heavily applied. Thanks for sharing!

  11. OK, studying this further I have a question. And I know this is a painting school thing that I never learnt because I never got the opportunity to go!

    Why did you paint the yellow underneath first? Was it to give depth? Or just to help blend the colours.

    Thank you for sharing your work process, it really does help

  12. Cindy,

    I painted the yellow first for a couple reasons. The first one is to identify where the high lights and low lights will be. The second is to make it easier to blend the orange with out it being initially too dark. It is always easier to go darker, you can't go lighter. Also the colors blend better when there is some ink down in the fabric underneath, and I wanted the fish to have a bright warm all over golden color.

  13. This is GORGEOUS. Great, clear tutorial (thank you so much for that!!) and very successful results.

  14. Judy,
    thanks for sharing this process! I love all the tips you give as you work through the project.

  15. I see these inks all the time and wonder...i have so many pans on the fire do i dare....
    great tutorial as usual!

  16. I have been doing some research on tsukineko ink and I came across you blog. Love your work. Beautiful

    1. Hi Lori,
      thanks! At the end of last year I moved my blogs to http://judycoatesperez.com, so you can find more up to date content there.


This is my old blog, please visit my new website at www.judycoatesperez.com

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